American Christians Visit Mt. Nebo

We had only cameras
and yearning, but the wind rasped stone
like a hot tongue, and camera and yearning
were not enough to savor the ripening
along the Jordan River, the salt sea,
that bitter Wilderness wind
and the candescent wafer
of the sun. We entered
the chapel, hoping for respite, ease,

relief. There were nearly perfect mosaics
to photograph, and we marveled
how men, bending arthritic knees, had thumbed
each chip against cement to fill
the hunger of silence and waiting
for visitation. We craved hard
with our minutes but heard
only the abrading air soughing
between sun and these soothing
arrangements in stone.

“American Christians Visit Mt. Nebo” first appeared in Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought. It is also included in the manuscript Have, a collection of poetry by Lee Robison that will be published this fall by WordTech Communications.

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